The workforce at Gambia’s Social Security, Housing and Finance Corporation today walked into the president’s office in Banjul today, demanding that their boss should be fired. They have accused their boss of corruption, abuse of office, and nepotism. This followed, a petition they filed to the head of Gambia’s Civil Service, Habibou Drammeh, outlining their grievances against Managing Director Muhammed Manjang. Manjang has denied any wrongdoing.
The procession was led by Momodou Camara, the Head of the SSHFC staff representative. SSHFC staffers displayed placards while they walked towards the State House main entrance. One of the placards read: Manjang must go!
MD Manjang is a former Standard Bank Manager in Kenya. He was hired MD of the SSHFC, following the firing of Edward Graham, who was accused of being Jammeh’s financial pawn while heading the pensioners office. Graham appeared before the Janneh Commission to shed light on the millions of dollars of pensioners funds, the former Gambian dictator squandered during his twenty-two years stint as the leader of the country. Other SSHFC MDS also appeared before the Commission.
Dressed in a red fashion shirt, Momodou Camara told Kabiro Darboe that they were marching to the State House to call for Manjang’s firing. “ It is the new Gambia, we are building; people have to be ethical; people in position have to be ethical. The new Gambia belongs to us. It is a new generation,” Camara said adding that there are folks trying to block the 21 page petition document they filed against MD Manjang. “Nobody is passing the document to the president. Our petition has been sitting there for over eight weeks. Nothing has been done to redress our demands,” he added.
Camara has accused MD Manjang of sponsoring Ms. Bayo, a newly hired staffer of the SSHFC, to study in Ghana, without due process. He also said MD Manjang is allegedly involved in corruption.
MD Manjang has repeatedly denied such allegations in an interview with the Fatu Network. He said the staffers of the SSHFC are not ready for change; hence they have resorted to disparaging his reputation. He said the staffers must be ready to adopt to change adding that the old way of conducting business at the SSHFC is untenable.
Two years ago, no one in the country, dared organizing a protest to march to the State House. Observers believe that President Barrow’s tolerance for dissent has given hope and courage to the citizens of the impoverished West African nation. Though, some environmental protesters were killed in Faraba few weeks ago by members of the police intervention unit (PIU). The Barrow government has set up a Commission to investigate the killings.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai
From: Freedom News